Let’s face the truth: link building is tough. And it’s getting harder each day.
While links remain one of the top 3 ranking factors, buying links doesn’t work anymore.
In 2020, to climb the search engine rankings, you need to build a great link profile that points to your website.
Given that earning backlinks isn’t getting easier, it could be hard to know where to focus your efforts to gain the best results.
Say hello to SEO content.
Those people already running SEO campaigns know that earning links through content marketing is one of the best approaches.
However, SEO content has a different meaning for everyone.
To some, SEO content marketing means running a guest blogging campaign. To others, using infographics or data-driven studies springs to mind with SEO and content marketing.
SEO content is a minefield.
And the good news is that there are so many different ways to acquire links and drive success.
Also, no two SEO or content marketing professionals will handle their content-led link building the same way.
To inspire you, here are the 5 ways to build links through SEO content marketing.
5 SEO content types for building backlinks
Also called the linkable assets, the SEO content is a piece of content created to attract links. Usually, these backlinks are from other websites in your industry.
The three benefits of using SEO content are:
- Increased organic search traffic – SEO content attracts “link equity.” You can distribute them to other pages on your website through internal links. They help the pages rank higher for target keywords.
- Increased referral traffic – When you get links from high-traffic sites in your industry, the referral traffic will also increase.
- Increased brand visibility – Imagine the exposure your brand gets when well-known websites in your niche talk about you. A PR firm would cost you a fortune for this coverage. When you create popular linkable assets, they help you spread the word about your brand to the potential audience.
Before we talk about the SEO content types, it is essential to remember that these assets don’t attract links out of thin air.
You would have to promote the heck out of them to make it happen.
#1. Infographics – Known as one of the most popular content formats, they attract a lot of links. One reason why they are a powerful linkable asset is that they contain highly citable data. Cornerstone infographics are a favourite format for SEO experts to present data and statistics in a highly visual form.
The infographic, “13 reasons your brain craves infographics” by NeoMam, has 21,000 backlinks as per Ahrefs.
There are three steps to create a link winning infographic:
- Pick a highly relevant topic in your niche and make it as specific as possible.
- Gather data points (preferably the latest) about the topic from original research. Wireframe them to flow logically.
- Make the infographic look great so that key statistics and points jump off the page.
The quality of data and topic relevance play a deciding role in how effective your infographic is.
You can use the infographic tool Visme to make them look professional.
But then how would you build links using an infographic?
Start by pitching to websites in your industry.
Alternatively, a freelance platform such as Link-able lets you connect with writers who are already writing in your industry. They can guest blog on your behalf to accelerate your infographic link building efforts. Simply introducing these writers to your content assets is a great way to get your content discovered and to build quality backlinks for SEO and PR.
You could also write a guest post for them to publish.
Tip – Google does not value “embed links” if only your infographic is published. The supporting content will help you earn high-quality backlinks.
Alternatively, once you have the data, you could pitch to a more prominent publication for co-branding. In his early days, Brian Dean from Backlinko partnered with HubSpot by offering a 100% exclusive infographic.
For a small business or a not-so-famous brand, this is a huge credibility booster.
Infographics serve as an excellent form of off-page SEO.
#2. The “statistics” page – You must be familiar with the “Skyscraper” technique. It is a link building strategy where you find a page with a lot of links, create something “better” or “updated” and pitch the new resource to websites linking to an inferior page.
The statistics page works for link building because:
- Statistics pages attract a lot of links
- Statistics often get outdated
- Statistics pages are rarely updated
Taking advantage, here’s what you can do to build a linkable asset:
- Find a winning topic
- Find linking prospects
- Create a statistics page
- Find the contact information of the prospect
- Send outreach emails
Here’s how Ahrefs created a link building campaign for their page “SEO stats” which ranks on Google’s first page.
Using Ahrefs, they found the topic worth writing about and the websites where the SEO statistics were unmentioned.
To narrow down the link prospects, they used Website SEO checker for extracting the root domain.
They then created a statistics page with popular and interesting SEO statistics from other pages.
An important thing to note there, categorise the page to make it easy to digest. Group statistics into different categories. Adding jump links makes your page reader-friendly.
Reach out to the prospects through a personalized email. EngageBay’s marketing automation software helps you send bulk emails at scale, in one go.
The result of this campaign was 32 high-quality backlinks.
Remember, follow-ups (atleast three) are an important part of any outreach strategy, be it for link insertion or guest posting.
Although backlinks are an important ranking signal, building high-quality links through white-hat SEO is only getting harder.
If you are wondering that creating a statistics page is an effective SEO strategy for 2020, the answer is YES.
It isn’t complicated and you can do this yourself.
#3. Studies and research – If you are in the SEO and content marketing industry, you would be aware of the Content Marketing Institute’s yearly reports on “Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends.”
Backlinko, HubSpot and Buzzsumo studies and original research attract links like crazy. The two reasons behind this are:
- People trust them – People trust the studies by well-known brands.
- They have tons of data to find insights – Businesses who have tools also collect heaps of data. As a result, data-driven studies bring out insights.
However, what if you are not so well-known in your niche? What if you do not have tons of data to show?
The good news is that you don’t have to always base studies and research articles on insane amounts of data.
Case studies also work well in getting backlinks for SEO that drive relevant traffic to your website.
Or you can find pressing problems faced in your industry and reach out to the audience to fill the questionnaire. Venngage created “The state of lead generation in 2019: trends + expert tips.”
This page attracted a fair number of links.
How would you promote the data-packed content piece?
Again, you can use Ahrefs to find outdated statistics.
Alternatively, a Google search shows you the websites talking about the topic. You could reach out to them to include new statistics.
#4. Quizzes – The benefit of using online quizzes is that they add a bit of fun in making your content interactive. Traditionally used for measuring customer satisfaction by eCommerce and SaaS companies, quizzes double up as a link building tactic.
Offering your prospects a multiple-choice quiz to fill in makes their interaction with your business much more fun. You can even use Google Forms to create your quiz or survey, and then embed it into your website or send it out via email.
What better than using quizzes to drive engagement and earn links from websites who also embed the quiz?
Although surveys and quizzes are believed to be more suitable for B2C brands, even for B2B businesses they capture your audience’s attention. Besides giving great results from the link perspective, they drive impressions across social media and bring email signups.
Leadformly has a quiz (in the demo section) for first-time visitors wherein it asks a series of questions around a business problem. Visitors are then taken to the results page after they complete the quiz, where they are subtly introduced to their Free Trial option.
Ensure your quiz instantly delivers the result and offers a unique proposition alongside. Ask engaging questions that are easy to answer. Don’t make your prospects think too hard. Test a few copy variations initially to choose the better one.
#5. The ultimate/definitive guides – The so-called definitive or ultimate guides get more backlinks than articles because bloggers and writers would link to one definitive guide instead of linking to a bunch of tutorials and resources.
The ultimate guides also help in content marketing for lead generation.
But to create a definitive guide, you need to be an expert on the subject.
For example, this keyword research guide by Mangools has 500+ backlinks.
Some ideas to use definite guides for link building are:
- The best way to acquire links using such assets is by staying on the radar of potential linkers. Regularly update your guide. Re-promote it each time you update. What starts as a “20 SEO tips” could, over the years, become “50 search engine optimization best practices.”
- Add the latest statistics and best practices. Don’t shy away from rewriting the guide if needed. To make sure that people don’t forget your content piece, re-promote it every time you refresh it.
- Tell your email subscribers when you add significant updates to existing posts. How else would you build awareness?
- Run Facebook ads to promote your updated post. These ads could be retargeted to existing users or could target a cold audience.
- Whenever you make an update to your posts, perform a fresh round of outreach. Let them know about your content (instead of asking for links outright).
You are likely to realize that the 5 SEO content tactics for link building focus on letting people know about your linkable assets.
They are called link building assets because people want to link to them. Your job is to make sure that the right people know that your content exists.
Remember, even the best content won’t get links unless those in your industry know about it.
Go now, start creating link building content and earn links.
If you have any more link building content types of share, let’s connect on Twitter.
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